Ducky’s Bill Becomes Law, Giving Washington Students Access to Medical Cannabis

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has officially passed House Bill 1095, also known as Ducky’s Bill.
Ducky's Bill Becomes Law, Giving Washington Students Access to Medical Cannabis

Students in Washington will now be able to use medicinal marijuana therapies at school with the signing of Ducky’s Bill (House Bill 1095) by Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday. Under the law, children who are registered medical marijuana patients will be allowed to use cannabis medicines on public school campuses. To comply with the law, the cannabis medicines used at school must be in liquid form and can only be administered by a student’s parents.

Before signing the bill, Inslee said that the new law will help keep students in the classroom.

“Currently children who need medical marijuana… have to leave school. They’re missing valuable time,” Inslee said.

Bill Named for Young Activist

Ducky’s Bill is named for nine-year-old River “Ducky” Barclay, an Aberdeen, Washington girl who has one of several related rare genetic disorders classified under the umbrella term Batten disease. When she was in second grade, Ducky’s family discovered that cannabis oil reduced her severe seizures and allowed her to be more focused in class. Ducky and her father John Barclay became medical marijuana activists, traveling to the state Capitol several times to advocate for permission for students to use cannabis medications at school.

A smiling John Barclay was present for the signing of the bill, but reported that Ducky was too ill to attend with with him.

“Her mind is dying,” he said.

Ducky is now blind and is no longer able to speak. Her doctors do not expect her to live beyond the age of 14. But John Barclay said that Ducky was able to understand when the bill was passed by the legislature.

“All I could say was, ‘I have the good news.’ She reacted very happily to it,” he said.

After the bill was signed, Barclay said that he was happy that the bill, now Ducky’s Law, will be his daughter’s legacy and help other sick children.

“It’s humbling and overwhelming,” he said.

Washington state Rep. Brian Blake, who sponsored HB 1095, said that he was inspired by the young girl to work to help sick kids.

“Like Ducky, there are other children in our state who struggle with seizures or other disorders and I am convinced that these bills will make their lives better,” Blake said.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. We can help these kids so they can have the same opportunity to learn and enjoy school as any other Washington student,” he added.

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